India: Stand in solidarity with the women of Gujarat on 8th March

Urgent call for action.
As you are probably planning activities around International Women’s Day, 8th March, WLUML strongly urges you to refocus international attention, protests and solidarity on the ongoing genocidal process taking place in the Indian state of Gujarat since late February 2002.

The last year has been characterized by countless instances of continuing violence and pressure against the Muslim community, especially women. In the meantime, the Sangh Parivar (a network of extreme right Hindu supremacist organisations) pursues its Hindutva agenda with the support of state authorities. They are denying that atrocities took place, rewarding perpetrators and obstructing any attempt to secure justice.
In Gujarat, as in many other conflict situations, women have been targeted as members of the 'other' community, as symbols of the community's honour and as the ones who sustain the community and reproduce the next generation. This has become an all too common aspect of larger political projects of genocide, crimes against humanity and subjugation. In Gujarat, sexual violence against Muslim women as well as against women in inter-religious marriages is central to the organized political project of Hindutva.

Because the 8th of March marks 12 months since the pogroms against the Muslim community began in Gujarat, WLUML feels this is a crucial opportunity for women across the world to demand accountability for the perpetrators and justice for the survivors. While the world’s attention is focused on other crises, we should not allow these crimes against humanity to remain unaddressed. It is also vital to express continuing solidarity with all those who have suffered and continue to face daily humiliation and violence. Equally important is to also support those within and outside the Muslim community who are taking personal risks to provide them support. Global progressive forces must make their position loud and clear on the threat posed by the implementation of the Hindutva agenda, the lack of an appropriate response by mainstream political parties in India, and the shrinking space allowed for secular voices to be heard. The very existence of minorities in India is at stake. The current situation is strengthening all extremist forces in India, including within the Muslim community, as they each seek to exploit communal and ethnic identities for their own political gain.